Switching Salts

Discussion in 'Other Reef Talk' started by Nav, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. gaberosenfield

    gaberosenfield Juvenile Chromis over an Acro in the Red Sea

    Like rygh, I use IO regular and I used it on my last tank in Texas as well. It's cheap, easy, and I works fine. For me, it mixes up to Ca = 430 - 450 ppm, dKH = 8 - 9. My new system hasn't had much growth yet, but I had good growth of sps and a clam in my system in Texas. If you have a big calcium demand, you'll end up dosing Ca and alk in some way between water changes anyway, so you might as well use a cheap salt. Besides, I read some posts on reefcentral from people who run public aquaria and they said that most public aquaria either use regular IO or make their own salt mixes (like the Steinhart aquarium does). Point is the regular IO works fine.
    Nav likes this.
  2. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    Seems like most people say IO reef crystals mixes a little over 12.

    What alkalinity is your tank generally running?
  3. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I'd like to point out that the concentrations of minerals delivered with the salt are proportional to the specific gravity you prepare your saltwater at. The folks who've documented 13 dkh Alk in IO Reef Crystals were measuring it at 1.027 sg.

    When I prepare Reef Crystals at 1.025 it's more like 10-11 dkh and 420-440 calc.

    You should be testing your tank water and water change water to make sure the water change levels are the same or slightly higher (for the sake of supplementing). You also need to consider the relative size of the water change vs. the total tank water volume. IE: a 50% water change with 2 dkh higher alk is a shock, but a 10% water change with the same water may not be.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    gaberosenfield, Nav and bluprntguy like this.
  4. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I used my maintain 9.6-9.8 dkh with 20% PWCs and last 5 PWCs of 33% has brought it stable to 10.5... and I mix at 1.025 always.

    So if RC gives 10-11dkh at 1.025, then I think I'll be good :) Will place the order now! Thanks for all inputs.
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Being curious, I decided to measure during lunch:

    Standard Instant Ocean salt mix. Mixed in RO+DI.
    Mixed 5 days ago.
    Mixed to 1.026 (refractometer)
    I do add a bit of Mg before adding salt to RODI, so I will not measure that.
    Alk = 11.2
    Calcium = 390
    Both tested with Salifert.

    So pretty nicely matches that table. Well within error margins.

    For my tank, I normally tend to run about Alk=10, CA=400
  6. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Am I still missing something basic? If you keep Alk at 10 and your PWC water is 11.2, wont there be a rise? What if a BTA juiced up and u had to do a 40% PWC? Wont the Acros hate it?
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Well, a 40% water change of 10.0 with 11.2 would result in only a 5% Alk level change.
    Not a big difference.
    And that Alk change will have even less of an impact on PH.
    Nav likes this.
  8. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    You are over thinking this now
  9. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Lol, no it really doesn't matter a lot to me but hardcore reefers keep saying Alk stability = SPS success. I'm slowly getting into Acros and just making sure I'm doing it right :)
  10. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Do you have an ATO? I'd worry about stability in this order: Salinity, Alk, Calk.

    If you're fluctuating salinity on a daily basis, changes in Alk are a long second to that in terms of SPS stress.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  11. I want to try that hw-marinemix from BRS. I've always used IO or now IORC.
  12. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    I'd add - if you are not dosing automatically and have a large SPS load, your alk is fluctuating during the day.

    BTW, we need a new acronym. I'm proposing ADS, automatic dosing system! :)
    Coral reefer likes this.
  13. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I have an ATO so Salinity is exactly 1.025 always. My doser also loads Alk, Cal & Mag twice a day...
  14. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Other issues to consider

    1) Mixing the salt itself!
    The various chemicals can stratify during shipping.
    If you do not mix it all at once, or stir contents, you can have issues.
    Example: See reviews on hw-marinemix at Amazon where Alk was only 3.

    2) Moisture and clumping!
    If you let salt sit exposed to the air, it will pick up moisture.
    For the pure salt part, not a big issue other than a few clumps.
    But for the other chemicals (Alk/Ca) they can react and be ruined.


    If you get standard IO in the big 200G box, internally it comes in smaller bags.
    Dump one in a normal large salt bucket, and mix easily.
    The other bags stay sealed, so last longer.

    I have considered switching to a fancier salt many times. But seems like
    there is always something....
    Nav likes this.
  15. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I'm seeing more IO than IO-RC users...
  16. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    Yup... poll the old crusties and you find that still to be true.
  17. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I use plain old IO. I used so much of it when I ran my 140g tank with 100g sump that I didn't want to spend the extra dough on the fancier salts. Back then I had a certain amount of Ca, alk and mag figured out to add to each new 34g brute to get it just right.
  18. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Those were two of the main reasons I switched to ESV. I don't mix in whole bag amounts so those items are a big deal for me. ESV does clump but because it's just pure NaCl or Mag Sulfate (can't remember the formula :oops: ), the clumps break up real fast and don't ruin the salt.

    The other big ups for ESV...
    The dry parts are larger particles than the one part mix so there is no dust. My nose and skin do not like the dust!
    There is no crud left in the mix container. With RSCP, I'd get a large amount of white precip. I'd clean pump, barrel and heater after every one or two batches. With ESV, I've gone thru three boxes (600g) of mix and there is NO precip!

    The BIG negative of ESV is cost. It's like liquid gold!! I hope the beasties appreciate how they are being pampered. :D
  19. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

    I am going to be be a biased SOB and go with Microbe-lift FTW....mixes clear right away, dead nut on parameters, and doesn't have funky smell out of the bucket and doesn't require silly use instruction. Sold thousands of buckets for over 6 years now with maybe one complaint! Wish I can say the same for other salts I carry. For the record, I carry AquaVitro, RSCP, IO, RC, and sometime even ESV.
    jonmos75 and Enderturtle like this.
  20. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    Hmmm what's the going rate for a 200g mix of it Robert?

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